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There were three DIA non-conference games over the weekend with highly ranked teams. BYU and Lindenwood both beat ranked opponents while Arkansas State defeated NSCRO powerhouse Iowa Central.
BYU opened its season with a win over Grand Canyon. The Cougars started fast taking a quick 19-0 lead on the backs of Tua Laei and Tosh Wilcox. Maceo Brown, who added two tries, on the day broke through, the BYU line for a long score to cut the lead to 19-5.
The teams exchanged scores and went into halftime 29-12 in favor of BYU. The teams traded scores before BYU reeled off three of their own to win comfortably 53-22.
"Overall it was a satisfactory effort for a first run. We got some good work done today.” BYU Head Coach David Smyth said in the BYU recap. “Additionally, this team learned what areas of needed improvement are there. That’s a good thing, and we’ll stay busy at practice. With only four starters from last year’s team taking the field today, there were questions to be answered. I was pleased with response we got from the boys. On we go!”
It was a decent result for a Grand Canyon team that is in its first year in DIA. After beating San Diego State last week and remaining close with BYU for a large portion of the game, keep an eye on GCU going forward.
Both BYU and GCU will continue with independent schedules going forward.
Out in the Pacific Northwest, Lindenwood edged Central Washington 27-15. After having lost to the Wildcats last year at home, the Lions are showing great progress in their quest to win the Mid-South conference.
Wes White and Nick Feakes scored in the first have to give the Lions a 12-0 lead. Jack Wendling got the first of his two scores to cut the lead 12-5 but Lindenwood added one more score before half to take a 17-5 advantage.
Wendling’s second try and a penalty cut the deficit to two points but Lindenwood stemmed the momentum with a pair of tries to finish off the game.
“The defense and the scrum went well. It’s always nice to win penalties in those parts of the game. We didn’t play much rugby in our half and our line speed held throughout the game,” said Lindenwood coach Josh Macy.
Lindenwood will move into conference play against Clemson next week. Macy indicated that the team made some errors and missed some opportunities but all in all, the team will be ready to go for conference action.
“Everyone knows the conference is a grind but we’re trying to strike that balance between using our depth and developing consistency. This next week at Clemson will be an important launch for us,” Macy added.
In a muddy affair at Arkansas State, the Red Wolves defeated a feisty Iowa Central squad 30-10 in their first game of the spring. The home side got a pair of tries from Calvin Gentry and strong performance from Tabo Maree.
The Red Wolves led the entire game and were up 25-10 before scoring a try at the death to win 30-10.
Arkansas State will open conference play against Life next week.